Horned gods were worshipped in Europe and the rest of the world from the dawn of humanity. They were always part of a pagan belief system, a polytheistic belief system, which accepted many gods. Tribal pagan belief systems still in existence share this characteristic: the tribes worship their tribal gods, and other gods mentioned by strangers are not evil, or non-existant, they are simply not their gods.
There were many ancient monotheistic religions such as Judaism, but again these were tribal religions, which had no urge to prosyletise, to "spread the word". Jehova was the god of the Jews, and they felt no need to persuade other tribes to worship him as well.
Christianity ...view middle of the document...
It really took off in the fifteenth century (especially in Spain), and began rooting out all and any lingering traces of pagan belief.
Being an organization run entirely by men it took an instant dislike to the old wise women living around every country village, passing on ancient pagan folk-lore to the new generation and selling folk medicine and magic charms. The priests declared that these women were worshippers of the devil, and must be burned. During the process of extracting imaginative confessions from their bewildered captives a brand new folk myth was gradually born, as the inquisitors continually outdid one another in imagining new horrors of depravity in the worship of Lucifer, and under torture their prisoners confessed to it all. Christianity created its own reflection, and called it Satanism.
In order to improve the consistency of the confessions, and thereby create the evidence for this imaginary foul creed, a special manual was required, detailing the exact acts of which the "witches" stood accused, and would therefore confess to. It also described in excruciating detail exactly how to extract such confessions. This "Witch Hunting: How To Do It" guide was published in 1486, written by two monks, Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger. It was called The Malleus Maleficarum, or "Hammer of the Witches".
This was the origin of Satanism, as most people understand it.
Before this there had been only the Luciferians (a real heresy), who practised Christianity in most important respects but with one exception: having read the fine print in the early Coptic...